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Monday, 10 August 2009

DIY Designer Pin Heads - Shrink Plastic

Hi everyone! So it's finally here. Last time I made a video for a DIY I didn't like the sound of my voice - and this time I have two videos.. so it's double the sillyness!!! Anyways.. I think most of you will be amused to hear my Australian accent muse about shrink plastic, so here we go!


  • Permanent Ink Pens (fine tip), or colour pencils
  • Circle hole punch, or scissors
  • Pins
  • Sponge
  • Shrink Paper (available from my Etsy Store)
  • Oven, or Embossing Heat Gun
1. Punch Circles...

The size circle that my punch makes is .47inches (0r 12mm). You can make this a bit bigger, but if you make the circles too big, they won't be practical to use for sewing.

The first time I did this I just cut our round shapes from some scrap pieces and that worked fine as well.
(click here to see what I mean...)

2. Draw your Designs...

If you want detail in your pin heads, it's important to make sure that you use a fine tipped permanent ink pen. I just drew these images free-hand (no template), as when the pin heads have shrunk all the little imperfections magically vanish!

3. Piecing your Pin Head...

Make sure you piece the circle at the best 90 degree angle you can manage. This will help to ensure you won't split or crack the shrink plastic.

4. Shrinking Time!!!

You can use a heat gun like I've done in the video... or...

Steps for shrinking in the oven:
* Adults must do this part if you are doing this craft with children!

1. Place the pins into something like a carrot or potato

2. Make sure the oven is already at 350F or 175C.

3. Place the pins into the oven, close the door and watch them shrink right before your eyes!!

The finished masterpiece...

perhaps some heart shapes..?

There you have it! I hope you can see how easy it is to do such a fun simple craft. If you know someone that loves to sew, I can almost gurantee that they would love to receive a personalised gift like this!

If you want some shrink paper to test of this craft or the button craft, you can grab some shrink paper from
my store.

Sorry that it took me so long to post! Things have been really hectic around here! I'm off to prepare the house for our Swedish guests that are arriving this arvo (Australian for afternoon).

Do tell me what you think??? Does it look easy to do??? Cause I promise it is!



  1. Forgot to mention, that it might be handy to look at my button tutorial to see why I use ZIG pens :)

  2. Very nice!!
    You have such talent for making pretty things.
    Love the toad stools, by the way!!

  3. Amazing! That's sooo cute!

  4. Love the tutorial, Thank YOu for sharing!

  5. That looks like fun. Great tutorial. You have such a cute blog.

  6. i found a scrap of shrink plastic that a friend sent to me, so i used a cherryblossom hole punch and made a few really pretty flower pins for my mom's birthday! i colored the flowers different colors... but could figure out if the colored side should be on the top or bottom, so i did both. and looks better if the color is on the bottom. after i baked the pins (poked in a potato like you said) i added a drop of Diamond Glaze to the middle to keep the tops from spinning and dropping down the pin. thanks so much for the tutorial!

  7. how much for the shrink paper?
    reply please, thanks :)

  8. I'm really sorry, but as of now I'm not selling shrink paper. I'm stuck in Australia at the moment, and am waiting for a visa. So unable to run my etsy store! Sorry!!

  9. Hello! Now, you're selling the shrink paper? I'm from Brazil and will love have this. ^^
    You can reply for my e-mail:

  10. Oooh...that TOTALLY looks easy to do!! I've seen around that you can use #1 plastic to make "shrinky dinks" (that's what we called them here in the US when I was a kid...) I've been wanting to try it, but hadn't seen a project that really caught my fancy before now....I really like this!

  11. Stupid question....what do you use the finished pins for?

  12. Hey Anon,

    no question is a stupid question!!

    I haven't personally used them as I don't sew, BUT, they have made awesome gifts, and bring a huge smile to people's face that do!

  13. hi! i love your blog, it's so fun! i tried making some pins of my own the other day, and mine weren't nearly as adorable. fantastic idea though! i linked to you through my blog, i hope that's ok. =) thanks so much!

  14. Hey Bells, you are so welcome to link back to my blog!

    I'm sure your pin heads looked great!


  15. #6 recyclable plastic also works like shrink paper (I haven't tried it, but have heard it). Dairy Queen ice cream cups are #6.

  16. Hi,
    Could you let me know the brand of the 12mm round paper punch? Thanks!:0)